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Is Perpetual Motion Possible at the Quantum Level?
A new phase of matter called a “time crystal” plays with our expectations of thermodynamics. The physicist Vedika Khemani talks with Steven Strogatz about its surprising quantum behavior.
Room-Temperature Superconductor Discovery Meets With Resistance
A paper in Nature reports the discovery of a superconductor that operates at room temperatures and near-room pressures. The claim has divided the research community.
For His Sporting Approach to Math, a Fields Medal
With Hugo Duminil-Copin, thinking rarely happens without moving. His insights into the flow-related properties of complex networks have earned him the Fields Medal.
Quantum Simulators Create a Totally New Phase of Matter
One of the first goals of quantum computing has been to recreate bizarre quantum systems that can’t be studied in an ordinary computer. A dark-horse quantum simulator has now done just that.
Eternal Change for No Energy: A Time Crystal Finally Made Real
Like a perpetual motion machine, a time crystal forever cycles between states without consuming energy. Physicists claim to have built this new phase of matter inside a quantum computer.
Mathematicians Prove Symmetry of Phase Transitions
A group of mathematicians has shown that at critical moments, a symmetry called rotational invariance is a universal property across many physical systems.
How Animals Color Themselves With Nanoscale Structures
Animals sculpt the optical properties of their tissues at the nanoscale to give themselves “structural colors.” New work is piecing together how they do it.
Complexity Scientist Beats Traffic Jams Through Adaptation
To tame urban traffic, the computer scientist Carlos Gershenson finds that letting transportation systems adapt and self-organize often works better than trying to predict and control them.
Why Is Glass Rigid? Signs of Its Secret Structure Emerge.
At the molecular level, glass looks like a liquid. But an artificial neural network has picked up on hidden structure in its molecules that may explain why glass is rigid like a solid.